The Learning Experience

Language of Instruction

The default language of instruction in any course is English. If any course is taught in another language – for example, advanced courses studying another language – then that is clearly stated in the course description.

Academic Sessions and Terms

There are two Academic Sessions at the Faculty of Arts & Science.

  • The Fall/Winter Session runs from September to April and is divided into two terms: First (September to December) and Second (January to April).
    • Each term of the Fall/Winter comprised of 12 weeks for classes/lectures (thus, 24 weeks in total for the Session) and includes days for study break and for Faculty final exams (also called the Exam Period). Some courses, normally full (1.0 credit) courses, run the full 24 weeks from September to April; normally half-courses (0.5 credits) run in the Fall or Winter term. In some cases, courses may repeat and be offered in the Fall and the Winter.
    • Enrolment for an upcoming Fall/Winter normally begins in early July.
  • The Summer Session runs from May to August (with a total of 12 weeks possible for course content) has two short terms, also “First” and “Second”.
    • The first term runs from early May to mid-June, the other from early July to mid-August. Days are also allotted for exam preparation and for writing exams. Because of this compressed time period, many courses have double the normal lectures/tutorials in any week, and so the limit on the number of classes a student can take in the Summer is lower.
    • Enrolment for an upcoming Summer session normally begins in early March.

When a student enrolls in a course in any session, they are normally expected to be available from the start of classes all the way through to the end of the Session, which is the last day of the final exam period.

Course Offerings

The Academic Calendar is the complete document of all the degrees, programs of study, and courses offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science. But note that each academic unit reserves the right not to offer every course every academic year. Every effort, however, is made to ensure that core mandatory courses are offered reliably every year, and in many cases, more than once through an academic year.
See How to Use the Calendar to learn more about what the Academic Calendar can tell you about the experience and expectations in any course offering